Foam rollers—you’ve probably seen these cylinders in the gym or being used by athletes on the sidelines of a game. Did you know that they may be just the thing you need to ease your neck strain?
Foam rollers have become a popular way for people to treat muscles with self-myofascial release, or self-massage. Experts think they work by increasing blood flow to the muscles and alleviating soft tissue adhesions, sometimes referred to as muscle "knots" or "trigger points."
An analysis of 12 high quality studies found that massage can provide short-term pain relief for those with idiopathic neck pain, compared with standard care.1
Foam rolling is specifically to relieve muscle pain, so if you have neck pain that’s caused by a problem such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis, check with your doctor before you attempt using a foam roller.
If you’re ready to try foam rolling to ease your neck pain, keep these tips in mind:
Combined with stretching exercises, physical therapy, and medication, foam rolling can be a simple and effective way to relieve neck pain.
See Neck Stretches
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